December 14, 2023
Being involved in a DUI (Driving Under the Influence) accident is a traumatic experience that can have profound and lasting effects on victims. It’s essential for individuals who find themselves in this unfortunate situation to understand that they have rights. In this blog post, we’ll delve into the rights of DUI accident victims, the legal recourse available to them, and steps they can take to protect their interests.
1. What Constitutes a DUI Accident?
A DUI accident occurs when a driver operates a vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs and causes a collision. These accidents often result in serious injuries or fatalities.
2. Rights of DUI Accident Victims
As a victim of a DUI accident, you have specific rights, including:
1. Filing a Personal Injury Claim
DUI accident victims can file a personal injury claim against the impaired driver. This legal action seeks compensation for damages resulting from the accident. It’s crucial to gather evidence, such as police reports, medical records, and eyewitness accounts, to support your claim.
2. At-fault Driver Liability
The at-fault driver in a DUI accident is legally responsible for the damages caused. Victims can hold them liable through a personal injury claim. Victims have the legal right to pursue compensation for their losses through a civil lawsuit against the impaired driver. Whether the impairment is due to alcohol or drugs, victims in California can seek restitution for accident-related losses. Personal injury civil lawsuits play a crucial role in making victims whole by awarding monetary compensation, aiming to alleviate the financial burdens incurred as a result of the accident.
3. Burden of Proof
In DUI accident cases, the burden of proof falls on the victims, who must establish, by a preponderance of evidence, that it is more likely than not that the defendant was under the influence at the time of the accident. To build a strong case, plaintiffs need to demonstrate the following key elements:
Several pieces of evidence can contribute to proving these elements, including:
This array of evidence collectively contributes to building a comprehensive and compelling case, reinforcing the victim’s claims in the legal proceedings.
4. Personal Injury Damages
Victims can seek compensation for personal injury damages, including medical expenses, pain and suffering, lost wages, and other related costs.
5. Wrongful Death Damages
In cases where a DUI accident results in a fatality, surviving family members may pursue wrongful death damages. This can include funeral expenses, loss of financial support, and emotional distress.
6. California’s Statute of Limitations
Navigating the legal timeline is crucial when considering filing a personal injury claim in California. As of 2023, the state’s statute of limitations for personal injury claims is 2 years from the date of injury to initiate a lawsuit in civil court. It’s imperative for accident victims to take prompt action within this specific time frame; failing to do so may result in the dismissal of the case, potentially forfeiting the opportunity to recover compensation.
After a DUI accident, prioritize your health. Seek immediate medical attention for any injuries, and keep detailed records of your medical treatment.
If possible, gather evidence at the accident scene, including photographs, witness statements, and any relevant details that may support your case.
Ensure that law enforcement is called to the scene of the accident. The police report will be a crucial piece of evidence in your legal proceedings.
In the aftermath of a DUI accident, consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney is crucial to navigating the complexities of the legal process. At Mercado & Sacramento, PC., we specialize in representing victims of negligence and DUI accidents. Our team is dedicated to helping you understand your rights and pursuing the compensation you deserve.
Why Choose Mercado & Sacramento, PC.?
How a Personal Injury Lawyer Can Assist
California car accident lawyers play a crucial role in helping victims of car accidents secure compensation for their injuries. They adeptly navigate the legal process, negotiate with insurance companies, and tirelessly advocate for fair compensation to address medical expenses, lost wages, and the emotional toll of pain and suffering.
If you or a loved one has suffered injuries in a car accident, don’t hesitate to reach out to Mercado & Sacramento, PC Auto Accident Attorneys for a free case evaluation. Our experienced legal team is committed to protecting your rights and assisting you in obtaining the financial compensation you rightfully deserve.